Friday, January 24, 2020

ROLEX 24: Roar Before Daytona Test Highlights Lamborghini Armada Chasing History at this year's Race



Can one of the three Grasser Racing Teams Lamborghini Huracan's give the Austrian GTD squad an unlikely Three-peat at Daytona? (Image source: imsa.com)
But who knows who'll actually win Thar respective categories this year? And I'd Arse-sume' the Odds are against Lamborghini...

Although playing a "Supporting Role," Hey Ain't It Oscar Time, El Correctomundo? Making up the Bulk of the Field are the Tintop Boys'; Err Saloon Drivers, since Thars' One All Femme Fatales Chariot on thoust Grid.

(GT LM) GT Le Mans Class
The Tide seems to be going Out upon this Gran Torismo (GT) Category, which is reduced to a paltry Two-by-Two of Works entries from BMW, Corvette and Porsche, with a solitary Ferrari interloper thrown in.

Day-1 of testing saw Boobie Ruble', nee Bobby Rahal & Company's GT LM BMW M8 GTE Squad's IndyCar Darling Colton Herta running second fastest aboard the #25 behind one of the Porsche 911 RSR's.

Then Colton finished the first day P1 before the mighty Porsche 911 Panzerwagons flexed Thar Teutonic Muscle, ending the 3-Day Test quickest of the GT Le Mans runners.

Speakin' of Herta's, ran across the interesting news via Racer that BHA, nee Bryan Herta Autosport has reunited with former IndyCar Driver Gabby Chaves, expanding its Michelin Pilot Challenge Hyundai "Velociraptor" squad to three cars, along with former Indy Lights racer Ryan Norman.

As the Michelin Pilot Challenge series appears to be the "Indy Lights" version of IMSA Touring Cars to Mwah, making me ponder if BHA will one day move up to IMSA GTD competition? 


But back to the Big Boyz' of GT Le Mans,
, albeit this category's highly diminished with thou absence of Chip Ganassi Racing's brace 'O Ford GT's!

And although the Porsche's most likely will win again, many eyes will be focused upon the Debut of Corvette's first ever Mid-engine racecar, while the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE may wish to throw a Spanner in everybody else's Party!


(GTD) GT Daytona Class
With this category comprising of nearly 50% of thoust Grid, I simply AIN'T Gonna even attempt covering all of them in Depth; CRIKEYS!

Other then I'll note Thars' 2 Acura's,  2 Aston Martin's, 1 Audi, 1 BMW, 1 Ferrari, 5 Lamborghini's, 2 Lexus's, 1 Mercedes and 3 Porsche's on thou entry list; Aye Karumba!

Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Engine: 3.5-litre V-6 turbo
Team: Meyer Shank Racing Nos. 57 & 86

SuperMario', nee Mario Farnbacher returns as the Defending GTD Champion with new Co-driver Matt mcMurray, who'll be partnered at DayToner' by Jules Gounon, son of Jean Marc Gounon, former Minardi & Simtek Formula 1 Driver, and Shinya Michimi.

The #57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing sports an All new Driver line-up with Misha Goikhberg and former MSR Standout Alvaro Parente this year, with the Damaged NSX having been repaired Justin-time' for the Rolex 24.

Once again the #57 sees 'Ol Walldinger', nee NBC Sports Talkin' Headz A.J. Allmendinger playin' Ketsup by Moonlighting behind its Keyboard, with Trent Hindman filling out the Driving roster.

Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3
Engine: 4.0-litre V-8 Turbo
Teams: #23 Heart of Racing & #98 Aston Martin Racing

Although I'm not expecting much from the brand new Aston Martin's this year, naturally I'm hoping for good things for my Home Team's #23 Heart of Racing/Team Seattle effort which I've previously scribbled bout here upon No Fenders.


While the No. 98 Factory effort seems to be playing Ketsup since one of its Works Drivers, Paul Dalla Lana had to Scratch due to injury suffered during a Skiing accident, and a last minute replacement found, with AMR Junior Driver Andrew Watson Deputizing for the injured Dalla Lana.

Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo
Engine: 5.2-litre normally aspirated V-10
Teams: #11 GRT Grasser Racing Team, #19 GRT GEAR Racing Team, #44 GRT Magnus Racing Team, #47 Precision Performance Motorsports and #48 Paul Miller Racing

While Y'all cannot count out past GTD Champions Paul Miller Racing or the Magnus Racing Boyz', who've now merged with GRT Grasser Racing to form an Austrian Three-piece Lambo' "super-team!" I'm most interested in the newly reconstituted #19 Hurricane Squad.

As Thy Leggy Juan', nee Katherine Legge and Cristina Nielsen have moved Thar le Femmes' Driving Squad here with a brand new 100% Femme Fatales effort under the Girls Empowered Around Racing (GEAR) Banner!

As Legge & Nielsen who'll contest the Full-season will be joined at Daytona by aspiring Formula 1 Alfa Romeo Racing Test Driver and  FIA F2 racer Tatiana Calderon and Rahel Frey.

As I believe that Frey, who I've never paid Attenzione to before is a last minute replacement for BIA', aka Ana Beatriz, whilst ironically Rahel replaced Legge in DTM. And the 43yr old Switzerland Driver who's carved out a career in Sports Car racing is probably tired of hearing 'bout fellow Swiss "Simona-Simona's" (de Silvestro) exploits, Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!

As I say I haven't paid Attenzione to Rahel Fray since ironically, I did include her name in a brief No Fenders story I penned a decade ago regarding Tres le Femmes contesting le 24 Heurs du Mans, when the only Femme Fatale Driver I knew then was former Firestone Indy Lights competitor Cyndie Allemann...


Lexus RC F GT3
Engine: 5.0-litre normally aspirated V-8
Team: AIM Vasser Sullivan Nos. 12 & 14

Arguably the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan (AVS) racecar with some good 'Ol Roundy Round Taxicab Driver by the name of Kyle Busch is the race's Biggest Star? Not to mention the GT Daytona classes Biggest Name, with All eyes focused upon 'Ol "Rowdy!" Who'll assist the regular Driving tandem of "Union" Jack Hawksworth and Parker Chase. With Michael De Quesada filling out the Daytona Quartet 'O Drivers.


But certainly thou Seester' #12 with NBC Sports Booth Boy (Townsend) T-Bell' and Frankie Montecalvo will have Somme-thun' to prove vs. that Taxicab Driver. As they'll have their own Star onboard with Thee Giz', nee Aussi V8 Supercars Star Shane van Gisbergen running another Rolex 24, along with Aaron Telitz at Daytona.

Porsche 911 GT3R
Engine: 4.0-litre Flat-Six, normally aspirated
Teams: #9 Faf Motorsport, #16 Wright Motorsports and #54 Black Swan Racing

Have read via Racer, Arse-sumedly from Crack Motorsports Reporter Marshall Pruett - hat those adorable Hosers from Up North Eh! The FAF Motorsports Crew have Ditched Thar Plaid Lumberjack look in favour of a new "softer" livery; Hya!

With Zachery Robichon being the only Holdover from last year's squad, as he and Scott Hargrove gave the #86 MSR Acura NSX Boyz' Fits last year, pressing them hard for the title before finishing runner-up in class if I remember correctly? so watch out for that Number Nine, No. 9, Number Nein; Ja Volt!

Other GTD entries...
Or should these be denoted as the "One Hit Wonders?" As Thars the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3, the #74 Mercedes/AMG Team Riley with Robinson Racing Merc' GT3 Evo, the #88 Audi Sport Team WRT Speedstar Audi R8 LMS Evo and the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 All in thoust Fray, or is it Fringes?

Although one should never count out 'Ol Bimmer Billy', nee Bill Auberlen, his able Full season co-driver Robby Foley & Co. in the #96, since after all, Auberlen's Hell Bent upon Besting Scotty Scooter' Pruett for most Overall IMSA career victories, which they're currently tied upon at 60 apiece!

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